The Town of Cornelius is planning to create a 9/11 memorial using an 8-foot-long, 3,000-pound steel beam that was salvaged from the World Trade Center twin towers.
Cornelius officials have said the memorial will be established at Fire Station No. 1 on South Main Street near Hickory Street, “to further acknowledge the impact of our country’s first responders who exhibited extraordinary selflessness and bravery following the attacks.”
The goal is to have the memorial erected in time to host an opening ceremony there on Sept. 11, 2016. The piece of steel – donated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and obtained by the town this week – is being stored inside the fire station and is not available for public view.
Town officials said they have organized a committee consisting of firefighters, police officers, elected officials, citizens and art experts to raise funds for the project and determine what the memorial will look like. They’ll make that determination based on proposals from a variety of designers via a formal “Request for Proposals” process.
“The World Trade Center Monument may turn out to be a very simple presentation of the steel beam accompanied by a few benches,” said Jen Crickenberger, Cornelius’ public art project manager. “It could also become an interactive outdoor space that includes a series of sculptures. ... The committee looks forward to receiving a plethora of powerful concepts to choose from.”
Cornelius is among a handful of select communities around the country that have recently received 9/11 wreckage intended for use in creating memorials, including Portsmouth, N.H., and Titusville, Fla.
Anyone interested in donating to Cornelius’ project fund can call Crickenberger at 704-892-6031, Ext. 166.